Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





How does the E39 BMW 5 series do in the winter/snow?

stephenabelsonstephenabelson Posts: 23
edited March 12 in BMW
I am thinking about getting a e39 525i, I live in Minnesota, does anyone have an e39 and live in a wintery place? How does it perform? The car has traction control, right?
Do you just put snow tires or all season tires and it works well? Or is there a lot of slipping around?

Should I just spend more money now and get the newer 525xi?

Can anyone compare the two?

Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,905
    Several of us on this board have/had E39s and the consensus is that fitting true winter tires to all four wheels makes the cars more than capable of handling the wintry stuff.

    Should I just spend more money now and get the newer 525xi?

    Well, having run an E39 for several years, I would go with the older car. And I'd definitely have a good indie shop or BMW dealer inspect the car prior to purchase.. If the thought of high repair costs scare you, stick the money you would have spent on the E60 into a money market account for future repairs. I'd budget @$80/month for all repair and maintenance costs- including tires. I really think that you'll come out ahead in the long run. There's nothing wrong with the 525xi, but I prefer the E39. That said, drive them both, crunch the numbers, and buy the car that pleases YOU.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I found that my E39 530i SP was a horrendously diabolical beast in the snow with its OEM summer performance tires, however, with the addition of a good set of winter tires, the car was transformed into a pussycat.

    As roadburner stated, I'd stick with the E39.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • thank you for your response. when you say $80 dollars a month in maintence, are you referring to gas and oil, or other problems? how often do you take your car into the shop for things other than maintence? do you have other reliability issues with the car? or as long as you do the service stuff, oil changes, fluid changes is everything working fine?

    if i buy this car, or any car i am wanting it to go at least 200,000 miles. do you think that's doable in the e39?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "if i buy this car, or any car i am wanting it to go at least 200,000 miles. do you think that's doable in the e39?"

    Easily, especially if it has a manual transmission. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • With my experiences, including tires, but not gas, budget $150 per month. I put snow tires on this winter for the first time and I feel like it made a big difference. I plan to keep my E39 to way past 200k miles.
  • what are you spending 80-150 dollars a month on though? i can't imagine having that much maintence per month on a car. i am currently driving a toyota, and rarely are there are maintence issues at all. is the car in the shop all the time? like every month? or what are you spending that money on?
  • Your concerned about buying a used car? I wouldnt. Even if it has low mileage i wouldnt recommend it because its used. Just buy a new 528xi.

    -S550IWISH
  • hey,
    well i would love to buy a brand new bmw 5 series. i don't have that kind of income or funds to do so. i should be able to buy a nice used car though and not have to pay 150 dollars a month in maintence stuff. i can't even imagine spending that much on a car every month. i guess i need to stick with toyota products and upgrade to a lexus. maybe a lexus gs300.
  • Maintenance the last 2 years has been $1500-$2000 a year. I put on at least 25k miles a year. The car has never been in the shop and has over 108k miles. Three or four oil changes ($300), a set of tires ($700) and $500-$1000 for everything else. Maybe a better way to estimate yearly maintenance expenses for an unknown E39 is 10 cents per mile.
  • okay, that makes sense. when you say 500-1000 for everything else, what are you referring to specifically?
    how long do you plan on keeping your bmw?
    have you owned other bmw's prior to this one?
  • Since I do not like anything BMW makes today, maybe quite awhile, at least 5 more years. I change oil every 7500 miles, brake fluid every other year, power steering fluid every 3 years and coolant every 4 years. Transmission and differential fluids were changed this year as well as buying snow tires and a set of wheels for the snow tires. I think everything else is by BMW's schedule. My main point initially was that maintenance costs need to be factored into buying any used car, and maybe more so with BMWs since so many are initially leased.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,905
    530ir said it all. I've owned and wrenched on BMWs since 1983(eight in all, I currently have two). Find a good independent shop and/or a dealer that offers BMW Club discounts and you'll find maintenance costs aren't all that bad(my dealer only charged $200 to change the ATF and transfer case oil on my wife's X3). Costs will be even less if you are willing to do the really simple work yourself, such as oil changes.
    For what it's worth, I have a Mazdaspeed3 that I use as my commuter sled. Just as I do with my BMWs, I follow Mazda's service requirements to the letter. It turns out that it's little -if any- cheaper to run than my E36 3 Series...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • what is the difference (or is there any) between snow tires and all weather tires?
    which is better in a wintery place?
    can you use the tire all year round?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,905
    what is the difference (or is there any) between snow tires and all weather tires?

    Winter tires carry a Severe Service emblem- AKA the "Snowflake on the Mountain" symbol. Unlike all-season tires, winter tires are designed to maximize grip in icy and snowy conditions- at the expense of warm weather performance and sustained high speed capability. All-seasons -with very few exceptions- trade ultimate winter ability for decent summer performance.

    which is better in a wintery place?

    Winter tires, without question.

    can you use the tire all year round?

    In most cases, no. However, Nokian offers two all-season passenger car tires which carry the severe service emblem- the WR and the WRG2. I would still prefer to have a set of winter and summer tires, but the WR and WRG2 are reasonable alternatives.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • jamesgjamesg Posts: 19
    i don't have any traction issues with my 540 with dunlop winter sports tires in upstate NY, and we use it for skiing. clearance is the only challenge on side streets before the plow shows up. snow traction with the summer tires is another story...and not recommended.
  • I have a 2002 540, bought via ebay out of wisconsin this summer. I live in Alberta where today the temp is -33 degrees c.
    Lots of snow and icy road conditions.
    This winter I put on Hakkepelitta snow tires which run 1100.00 up here.
    This car handles all snow conditions well with these tires.The DSC controls the rear end, braking and steering are well managed.
    My 1994 530 had Goodyear Ultra grip Ice tires, and did well with those. When I tried all season tires it acted like a curling rock.
    Overall operating costs for the 94 530 were about 15 cents per km, I would budget the same for the new car.
    I have Michelin x Ice on my volvo, so i am a winter tire fan. Recommend it for any vehicle in snow/ice country
    As for maintenance costs on a BMW... it is a bmw and the driving experience is very different from most other vehicles. Drive what you like and think you can afford.
This discussion has been closed.